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SMSL SP400 Review (headphone amp)

ninetylol

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#41
For headamp yes.

The unit reviewed here should make a great preamp though... with no volume control issues.

So if you have headphones and nearfield analogue active speakers, you could use this for both.
L30 does this at 139$ with same or better measurements :p Theres also A90. If they wanted to compete they should have priced it lower.
But seems everything hardware related (RTX3000/Ryzen 5000 etc) gets more expensive by the day since theres always someone dumb (or rich) enough to buy it.
 
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#42
SMSL SP400 - fully balanced (4x THX 888 module), Pre-out, remote control, relay volume control, headphone out
SMSL SH-9 - unbalanced (2x THX 888 module) remote control, relay volume control NO Pre-out
Topping A90 - fully balanced, pre-out, potentiometer volume conrol, NO remote control, headphone out
Topping Pre90 - fully balanced, pre-out, remote control, relay volume control, NO headphone out
Topping L30 - unbalanced, Pre-out, NO remote control, potentiometer volume conrol, headphone out

In my eyes the SP400 is most complete package. For same price as Pre90 you get headphone out, but no option to expand inputs and volume preset for inputs.
 

Music1969

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#43
L30 does this at 139$
No, it's not an apples to apples comparison - I mentioned no channel imbalance issues with the volume control SMSL use in this reviewed unit....

And no balanced pre-out with L30 right? ... As I said, useful with analogue active speakers at the desk, together with headphones...

Need to compare apples with apples.
 

SmackDaddies

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#45
What is it with people ripping this for being too expensive and "I can get this for cheaper".

This is an amazing piece of kit. It provides another outstanding option. Options you could not purchase for any price just several years ago.

We all pays our money and takes our chances. Buy what you want, but don't rip excellent equipment.
 

trl

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#46
I'd love to know what headphones need more power than the SH-9.
Well, there's alway HE-5 or even HE-6 that might love the extra juice, although I see nothing wrong with having extra power to a headamp; it's like a 500 Watts speakers amp that you will never drive it above 150 Watts because you live in an apartment.

For sensitive or average-sensitivity headphones it will probably be like having a 300 kmh car, limited electronically to 250 kmh, but mostly driving inside the city with 1 km/h. :)
 
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#47
Excellent review as always @amirm ! The performance is spectacular and looks like a perfect candidate to replace the A90 I returned. Would you also happen to have tested crosstalk and THD+N vs. frequency?
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #49
Excellent review as always @amirm ! The performance is spectacular and looks like a perfect candidate to replace the A90 I returned. Would you also happen to have tested crosstalk and THD+N vs. frequency?
I did not. I don't do those tests on headphone amps.
 

Svperstar

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#52
Nice. Over the summer I bought the SMSL SP200 to pair with my Arya. I'm doubtful I could tell a difference between the two.
 
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#53
SMSL SP400 - fully balanced (4x THX 888 module), Pre-out, remote control, relay volume control, headphone out
SMSL SH-9 - unbalanced (2x THX 888 module) remote control, relay volume control NO Pre-out
Topping A90 - fully balanced, pre-out, potentiometer volume conrol, NO remote control, headphone out
Topping Pre90 - fully balanced, pre-out, remote control, relay volume control, NO headphone out
Topping L30 - unbalanced, Pre-out, NO remote control, potentiometer volume conrol, headphone out

In my eyes the SP400 is most complete package. For same price as Pre90 you get headphone out, but no option to expand inputs and volume preset for inputs.
What about Gustard H16? Ticks all the boxes and feels more solid. Despite being cheaper.
 

Helicopter

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#55
Most of the differences between 'instrument grade' devices like this are inaudible. The attenuator may have audible benefits due to better channel matching.

I don't get the fuss over price. The Yuan is more expensive now. If you want a $200 or $100 amp there are options with great performance, but nothing that comes close to this in features, power, and channel balance.

I prefer not to have a screen and control buttons; but this amp checks a lot of boxes.
 
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#57
I agree. I computed 6.25 watts at 16 ohm. More may be available though if you drove it at more than 4 volts input. You would then need a DAC that can go up that high which is rare.
The m400 puts out over 5 volts right? Is it possible to see what it would look like with that kind of voltage since it will be a common pairing.
 

Music1969

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#58
Well, there's alway HE-5 or even HE-6 that might love the extra juice
Noted but is that subjective or objective?

Of course no issues with having more power headroom but my point was: is there are headphone that objectively needs more power that SH-9 delivers
 
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